intuitive cooking, sensible eating.

Polenta, Fusion Onion Mushroom Ragu, Poached Egg

Favorite winter dish: polenta with whatever I have on it.  At the end of the grocery train, so I used the only vegetables I have left to make this polenta dish that I love.  If you have not had it, polenta is corn grits.  It is fantastic tasting, versatile, and healthy comfort food.  You can make it as rich or simple as you like!  This is how I usually like to make it:

Liz’s Typical Polenta Concoction

Note: assume about 1/4 cup DRY polenta per person.  This recipe uses 1/2 cup, and simple math will upscale this recipe to fill more bellies.

1/2 cup dry polenta

2 cups water

2 tsp stock, water with bouillon, or just water if you want low salt

2 bay leaves

juice of one lemon

1 tbsp mustard you like

salt and pepper to taste

optional: stir in a tablespoon or two of butter, add cheese to taste (goat cheeses and other soft cheese work well), milk or yogurt to make it creamy

1.  Boil water/bouillon, or just stock, bay leaf, mustard, and lemon juice.

2.  Reduce heat a bit, and pour in polenta, whisking the entire time or it will be clumpy

3.  Get the mixture simmering, and cover for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  I usually end up turning it all the way down to the lowest setting because it can burn on the bottom, so be careful of that happening.

4.  Open it up and stir in any dairy additives at this point.  You can kind of let it set and rest for a bit to thicken up while the topping is cooking.

Quick Fusion Ragu

1/2 sweet onion, cut into half moons

1-2 cups mushroom variety (I used some chanterelles, oysters, and had one oddball white button

2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1 tbsp sweetened mirin

1 tbsp tamari

2 tbsp dukkah

1 tsp chinese five spice

salt and pepper to taste

1-2 tbsp butter or olive oil

2 tbsp parsley

1 scallion, minced

1.  Heat oil in a skillet, saute onions for 1-2 minutes, then add in garlic, cook for about a minute.

2.  Add in mushrooms, mirin, spices, a little salt and pepper

3.  Deglaze as needed with a splash of rice vinegar if you need to do so at any point (to prevent sticking).  Cook over medium-low heat until liquid is gone, and onions are nice and soft.

4.  Poach an egg to put on top of everything.

Just put some of the polenta in a bowl, top with the mushroom mixture, then place the egg on top.  I put some yogurt on it, too.  Leftovers are great, and this would also make a nice brunch dish since it’s easy to make so much of.  Serve it with crusty bread, for sure.  I only had chips left 😦

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